The leader of Wagner’s mercenary forces has offered to help Ukraine by giving up Russian troop locations if kyiv withdraws its forces from Bakhmut, leaked Pentagon documents suggest.
Yevgeny Prigozhin said in January that he would report to the intelligence service the positions of Vladimir Putin’s soldiers, the The Washington Post reported, citing leaked “Jack the Dripper” articles. Ukraine rejected the offer amid mistrust of Prigozhin.
Prigozhin repeatedly threatened to pull Wagner out of Bakhmut unless regular Russian armed forces sent more ammunition. Last week he said his troops were only getting 10% of the shells they needed.
The leaked documents also revealed that in January, Volodymyr Zelensky plotted to “conduct strikes in Russia” while moving ground troops into enemy territory to “occupy unspecified Russian border towns”.
Prigozhin repeatedly threatened to pull Wagner out of Bakhmut unless Russian armed forces sent ammunition. He said his troops only got 10% of the shells they needed
And in a February meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Yuliya Svrydenko, Zelensky suggested that Ukraine “blow up” the Soviet-built Druzhba pipeline that supplies oil to Hungary, the Post reported.
‘Zelenskyy pointed out that … Ukraine should just blow up the pipeline and destroy the probable Hungarian [Prime Minister] Viktor Orban’s industry, which relies heavily on Russian oil,” according to the document.
In an interview with the Post, Zelensky dismissed the allegations as “fantasy” but defended his right to use unconventional tactics in defense of his country.
“Ukraine has every right to protect itself, and we do. Ukraine did not occupy anyone, but vice versa,” Zelensky said. “When so many people died and there were mass graves and our people were tortured, I’m sure we have to use all the tricks.”
Since last week, Wagner Group boss Prigozhin has repeatedly threatened to withdraw his soldiers from Bakhmut unless regular Russian armed forces send more ammunition.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Wagner’s private mercenary army, rages over recent losses of Russian soldiers in Bakhmut
Mercenary leader ranks among Russia’s military leaders as reports continue of Russian forces abandoning front lines
Ukrainian soldiers fire cannons near Bakhmut, an eastern town where fierce fighting against Russian forces is taking place, in the Donetsk region on May 3, 2023
Wagner’s soldiers were at the forefront of a bloody Russian offensive to take the town of Bakhmut.
Prigozhin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has publicly threatened to withdraw his mercenaries from the area around Bakhmut, where they are at the forefront of the Russian offensive, unless they receive much-needed ammunition .
He said in an audio message on Tuesday that he and his men would be considered traitors if they abandoned the area.
The Post reported that Prigozhin’s offer came from his contacts with Ukrainian intelligence services.
It was not specified in the leaked document which positions of Russian troops Prigozhin had offered to disclose.
But kyiv rejected it because officials did not trust Prigozhin and believed his proposals might have been dishonest, the Post reported.
The report, which is based on secret US documents leaked on the Discord group chat platform, does not specify which Russian troop positions Prigozhin offered to disclose.
The White House did not immediately respond to questions about the offer.
Last week, video footage captured the moment fleeing Russian troops were blasted with their own weapon as they tried to escape from the Ukrainian front line.
The giant explosion is believed to have wiped out all but three of Putin’s men at an unknown location
Smoke rises after an explosion where a missile is fired at the escaping troops, seemingly eliminating all but three of them
The battlefield video evidently captures the Ukrainians striking using one of the deadly weapons left behind by Putin’s defecting soldiers.
A trail of smoke is seen as the missile is fired at the fleeing troops, followed by a giant explosion that appears to wipe out all but three of Putin’s men.
Although the location of the strike is unknown, it is believed that Russian forces were hit by one of their own Kornet man-portable anti-tank guided missiles which had been left behind and then seized and deployed by Kyiv forces.
It comes as reports continue to surface of the Russians ceding hard-won ground and fleeing their positions on the bitterly contested bloody battlefield of Bakhmut.
Pro-Kremlin Ukrainian blogger and politician Anatoly Shariy posted the footage to his million Telegram subscribers, saying, “This is what happens when the Russian army flees, leaving Kornets behind.”
Since last week, Prigozhin has repeatedly threatened to pull Wagner out of Bakhmut unless regular Russian armed forces send more ammunition. In his final remarks on Wednesday, he said his troops were only getting 10% of the shells they needed.
Along with clashing repeatedly with the Russian Defense Ministry, Prigozhin also expressed concerns over a long-promised Ukrainian counteroffensive to retake some of the territory Russia occupied after the 2022 invasion.